Candy canes, wise men, and reindeer - oh my!
Hurray! The holidays are upon us and there are so many simple ways to jazz up your studio for the season.
Let’s dive right in!
Inexpensive Gift Ideas
Sheet Music Popsicle Ornament I couldn’t love this more! It’s lovely, easy to make, and sure to produce lots of smiles. I’m using it this year as the craft during my Christmas Camp.
Star Music Ornament This will look so pretty on a Christmas tree and best of all - it's super easy to make. It's another great choice for a Christmas Camp.
Easy-to-Make Ornaments Check out Sara Campbell's blog for the low-down on how to make these. My favorite is the glass globe.
The Shepherd's Adventure is a fantastic resource for just $2. It's for teachers who want to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Students answer musical questions as they journey to the manger. Whoever gets to Baby Jesus first wins! The digital download includes 3 different boards, game cards, and even a practice chart. There are cards for all levels and is definitely a hit in my studio!
Christmas Rhythm Match-Up This would be cute for a group activity. Divide the kids into groups and see who can get them all first
Snowman and Reindeer Games Everything Susan Paradis does is adorable. This is no exception.
Christmas Pieces Flashcards from Compose Create. See if your students can guess the tunes!
Christmas Charades and More by Melody Payne - The Plucky Pianista. Such a creative idea!
Nutcracker Bingo by Jennifer Foxx of Music Educator Resources. What a perfect theme for the holidays.
Snowflake Bingo I'm using this game at my Christmas Camp next month. Susan Paradis has several more games on her website, so make sure you check them out.
Three Ships from Teach Piano Today - I LOVE this!!
The First Noel This is a unique version by Sally DeFord that you can download for free. You can also listen to it on her website.
Jingle Jangle by Danel McFarlane of Supersonics Piano. If you have more advanced students who need a fun challenge - look no more. This will be perfect!
Christmas For All Time Book 1 and Book 2 by Faber. Becki Laurent told me about these books last year and I'm SO grateful. The selection is AMAZING! Each book has over 2 dozen songs and the arrangements are lovely. Another nice thing? The books are jam-packed with so many songs that my students are able to use them for 2 years. You definitely get your money's worth here.
Christmas Classics Volume 1 and 2 by Jennifer Eklund of Piano Pronto. Each and every one of these arrangements is BEAUTIFUL! I hear Jazzy Jingles is great too, but I haven't tried it yet. Soon! (Update - I just bought it. LOVE!)
Christmas Jazz, Rags, and Blues by Martha Mier. This is one of my favorite Christmas series of ALL time! (Martha Mier is my hero.) If you like the Jazz, Rags, and Blues series, then make sure you check out the Christmas versions. It’s available at 5 different levels, so you’re sure to find one that works for your students.
Premier Piano Course Music 2B by Alfred. This book has a delightful selection of songs and the arrangements are fantastic. Every year I find myself scooping up more to give out.
Various Christmas Songs Susan Paradis has several Christmas songs for free on her website. You’ll find several different levels. Even pre-reading!
Practice Incentives and Challenges
Free Christmas practice charts from The Practice Shoppe. Several cute ones here.
More Free Christmas charts by Meredith Strings. (This year I'm using the Christmas Tree and Catch a Snowflake pictured above.)
The Twelve Days of Christmas from Ear Training and Improv. A cute incentive to get your students practicing more and exposing them to new practice techniques.
Nutcracker Practice Challenge Ideas by Brandy Woods. You might get a few new ideas from Brandy's post. She also includes a link to a cute Nutcracker Game that she created. (And it's less than $2.00!)
Various Holiday Worksheets by Susan Paradis.
The Twelve Days of Christmas Coloring Sheets by Melody Payne - The Plucky Pianista. Coloring is all the rage right now, so this would be perfect for your students.
Nutcracker Music Activity Worksheets by Jennifer Foxx of Music Educator Resources.
My Favorite Family Christmas books
(Full disclosure - these have nothing to do with piano, but I wanted to share what my family enjoys.)
Jesus, Light of the World by Candace Crabtree. (She's one of the Upbeat Piano Teachers!)
I'm using this devotional/prayer book this year. What a great way to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.
Candace has it on sale for just 4.99 until the end of the month. (You can also find it on Amazon, but it's a bit more expensive.)
A Book For the Whole Family
Jotham Journey Trilogy by Arnold Ytreeide. I can't say enough good things about these books! My son and I have read them for YEARS!
It's a series of books for Advent. There are 4 in the series and you basically read one book each year. They’re FULL of adventure and excitement! Your kids will get to focus on the true meaning of Christmas in such a fun way. (My son is 16 and STILL loves these books. They’re THAT good!)
Here's the order:
The books are broken down into sections of daily readings that lead right up to Christmas. If you want to read this year, you need to start on November 27, so get your book soon. It's available in both paperback and Kindle.
One note - I would follow the recommendation of ages 9 and up. Some parts could be frightening for young children.
But honestly, I can’t say enough good things about this series. I’m SO grateful that my son still enjoys reading them with me!
Christmas is my favorite season! If YOU know of great resources, please tell me in the comments. I'd love to hear!
(Note: Some of links in this post are affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.)
Hi there! I'm Tracy Selle. A Christian wife, mom, and author of 101 Piano Practice Tips. I'm also a piano teacher and founder of Upbeat Piano Teachers.